Since its 2005 purchase by Google, the Android operation system (OS) and the use of this tech titan as the platform's default search engine have been virtually synonymous. However, thanks to continued pressure from European Union (EU) regulators, it looks like this stranglehold over mobile searches on the Android platform could be drawing to a close – at lease for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic.
As Katie Collins of CNET reports, Google has announced a plan to allow users in the EU to select a new default search engine when setting up an Android device. If everything goes as expected, this update to user choice and control over the search process is set for a full release in 2020.
Previously, Google's ownership of the platform ensured that the vast majority of Android users utilized the web's largest search engine – either by choice or by default. As you might expect, this potential conflict of interest has led many to voice concerns over monopolistic practices for one of the biggest names in the digital world.
In terms of why Google would willingly loosen its grips on such a large – and previously captive – audience, it all boils down to constant pressure from regulators like Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, and multiple billion dollar fines related to antitrust committee findings.
(Be sure to read more about these fines levied against Google when you have a spare minute.)
Could this change allow for competition among search engines in the mobile world to flourish? Will this new stance translate to our domestic marketplace, thereby shifting or altering how your dealership optimizes its website to rank on search engines outside of Google that may eventually gain greater market share?
Naturally, it is far to early to provide definitive answers to these questions. However, chances are that this move, along with continued pressure from regulators at home and abroad, could put a dent in the longstanding dominance of Google when it comes to search traffic and what ends up in front of potential customers in your market and across the country.